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Entries Tagged as 'Web/Tech'

Is it time for a website re-design?

June 18th, 2013 · Strategy, Web/Tech

WebsiteDesignIn today’s marketplace, a company’s website is their first impression with prospects. It’s a rare purchase today that doesn’t begin with some sort of research or due diligence. And as consumers (both B2C and B2B) find themselves more time starved and more web savvy – the research tool of choice is often a Google search.

Long before they’ll set an appointment for a consultation or walk into your retail establishment – they’re scoping you out on the web. It makes sense then, that when it comes to your web presence you’d want to put your best foot forward, doesn’t it?

And yet, if you spend any time on the web – you run into a lot of stale, outdated websites. We just launched a new website for a client and his comment was “phew, now I can actually give people our web address again.” They’d ignored their website for so long – they literally weren’t giving people the URL to avoid embarrassment.

When asked, companies say that they don’t update their website because:

  • They don’t have the time to devote to it
  • They don’t have the budget
  • They don’t want to add interactive elements because they don’t have time to maintain them
  • The last redesign was such a painful process, they can’t think of going there again

But letting a stale or static website be your first “how do” to potential customers is more costly than you might imagine.

If you’ve got dated copy or information (many websites make it pretty obvious they haven’t been updated in years…their latest newsletter issue is from 2008 or the last bit of news in their newsroom is from three years ago) what you’re saying to visitors is that you aren’t so hot will follow up and attention to detail.

If your design is tough to navigate (you know…you just keep adding a page here or there, but there’s no organizational structure) you are going to frustrate that potential customer before they can figure out if you have what they want to buy.

Cheaping out by letting your cousin, neighbor or other amateur build your website says that you aren’t a successful business. You don’t have to build the Taj Mahal of websites but you do want something that speaks to your professionalism and functions the way you want it to.

Are you wondering if your website is working as hard for you as it should? See how your site matches up with these stats.

Websites with blogs get 55% more traffic (Are you sharing your expertise and taking advantage of the organic SEO value of that effort?)

Companies who blog get 79% more followers on Twitter (How does your stale website encourage me to connect with you on social networks like Facebook, Twitter and other interactive spots?)

The #1 attribute people want is a websites that is easy to navigate so they can quickly find the exact information they want. They don’t want to have to click 4 times or guess which heading the information is hiding behind.

People want contact information so they can call, write or drop by. This floors me but many companies do not include offline contact options to their web visitors.

Keep the distractions at a minimum. People want to be able to scan your page and figure out what’s there and where to go next. If you pack every bit of space with information, you actually get in their way. Remember, your goal is not to tell them everything so they don’t have to call. Your goal is to tell them enough to make them want to call.

Your website is your introduction to many of your potential customers Is it the way you want to be introduced or is it time to consider a re-do?

 

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The power of we

October 15th, 2012 · Collaborations, Marketing, Web/Tech

Today is Blog Action Day*.  What does that mean? It means that thousands of bloggers from over 108 countries will come together today to blog on a single topic.  Ironically — this year’s topic is the power of we.

The essence of Blog Action Day, really.

Each blogger shares his/her own slant on the theme…with the hope that together we can raise the consciousness and the conversation on this one topic.

If you’ve been reading this blog for any length of time, you know I am a huge proponent of the power of we.  I believe it should be a marketing staple — in every company’s plan/vision for how to connect with potential customers, employees and their community.

Here are some examples that I can point to that every business could modify/borrow and apply to their own marketing efforts:

Crowdsourcing:  Why create it all yourself when you can work together and do something far greater than any one individual could accomplish?  Together with Gavin Heaton, I have co-edited 3 editions of the Age of Conversation book series.

We brought hundreds of marketing bloggers together and asked each of them to write a single chapter in the books.  Together — we created three books that look at how the digital age is changing marketing and our world.  We also promoted the book together — raising over $40,000 for charities around the world.

Could you create a crowdsourcing project with your best customers?  Or invite prospects to join in too.

Give your audience a voice: Once or twice a year, I survey the readers of this blog and ask them what they’d like to know more about. They literally help me create my editorial calendar.  By creating content that lines up with their needs — I not only provide more value but I am also more likely to retain them as readers.  (And potential clients)

Many businesses are afraid to invite customer opinion because they might hear bad things.  I think that’s crazy.  Far better to hear about it and have a chance to either change it or explain it — than not to know until you lose that customer.  If you’re not surveying your best customers every year — you need to.  If you aren’t sure how to do it — reach out to me and I’ll tell you how we can help.

Partner with someone with different skills/talents: Throughout my career, I’ve worked at huge (Young & Rubicam) agencies and small (my own — Mclellan Marketing Group) and realize that one of the best aspects of being in a small agency is that we can’t do everything in house. So we have to seek experts to partner with.  That means we are always delivering the highest value to our clients and we’re getting smarter by hanging out with them too.

Identify an area where your business is a little light or your expertise isn’t as deep. Then go find a partner whose skill sets and values compliment what you’re already doing.  You don’t look like you have a deficiency — you look like you are well connected and are committed to bringing excellence to your clients.

I’m curious — how do you employ the power of we in your business?

 

 

 

*Founded in 2007, Blog Action Day brings together bloggers from different countries, interests and languages to blog about one important global topic on the same day. Past topics have included water, climate change, poverty and food with thousands of blogs, big and small, taking part.

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Search versus Social – which one wins?

September 29th, 2012 · Infographic, SEO, Social Media, Web/Tech · 1 Comment

If you’re wondering which is more potent — search or social media — as is often my answer — it depends. The truth of the matter is that every organization should be thinking about BOTH because they are the yin and yang for each other.  Each feeds the other side of the equation.  When you [Read more...]

The Google Yourself Challenge

July 30th, 2012 · Business owner/leader stuff, Employees, Life, Web/Tech · 5 Comments

Forget egosurfing for a second and ask yourself, how much can people learn about you by simply Googling you? The idea behind the Google Yourself Challenge is this: friends, relatives, recruiters, hiring managers, and even strangers may be searching for you on the web.  Why not Google yourself first and control what people can learn about [Read more...]

Does your funnel need fixing?

July 23rd, 2012 · Sales, Web/Tech · 1 Comment

People come to your website every day.  They pop in and pop out.  Some spend a few seconds while others read page after to page, lingering for many minutes. Wouldn’t it be incredible to not only know who those anonymous visitors are but what links, pages and information they clicked on? Well, now it’s possible. [Read more...]

Happy Social Media Day

June 30th, 2012 · Social Media, Web/Tech · No Comments

Today (June 30th) is Social Media Day — started by Mashable to celebrate “the one thing that unites us and keeps us in constant contact: social media. Whether you’re an obsessed Instagram photographer, an endless Pinterest pinner or a ten-times-an-hour tweeter, Social Media Day is a time to recognize the digital revolution that has changed how [Read more...]

10 Tips to Improve Your SEO results

June 15th, 2012 · Strategy, Web/Tech · 25 Comments

Drew’s note:  Here’s a guest post by Brad Shorr on a topic everyone wants to know more about — how to improve SEO. Don’t be daunted by the complexity of SEO – especially now. Google has introduced a ton of changes to their ranking formula recently, most of which penalize complicated, manipulative SEO tactics. As [Read more...]

My reading secrets

June 11th, 2012 · Books, Web/Tech · 12 Comments

Many of you write to ask how in the heck can I read as much as I do.   I am admittedly a voracious reader — consuming two or three books a week. I’m now going to reveal my reading secrets. I know it matters:  I’ve always believed that people who read were more successful. [Read more...]

Find newsletter content in a flash

June 8th, 2012 · Copywriting, Marketing, Media, Web/Tech · 3 Comments

Drew’s note:  Here’s a guest post by Patrick Carver on a relevant topic — how do you create and sustain the creation of an enewsletter. Don’t you just hate writing newsletters?  We all know the feeling. It’s Saturday afternoon and you realize the company newsletter is due to go out on Monday.  You can feel [Read more...]

Oops — can’t say THAT in an email! (stupid SPAM filters)

June 3rd, 2012 · Web/Tech · 25 Comments

I’m working on our weekly e-newsletter (always different content than here at the blog — gotta keep it fresh!) and I’m writing about email marketing mistakes. One of the mistakes I’m talking about is using phrases or words that trigger spam filters. I’m in the middle of making the list and realize…”duh, Drew, you’re going [Read more...]